You know you are hard on bikes when the guys at your local shop always greet you with a wry "what is it this time" type of smile when you appear at the mechanics' entrance. When you ride every day, and at every opportunity, your bike is going to amass a bit more wear and tear than bikes that are pulled out of the garage more intermittently. In my case, though, the issues always seem to be more dramatic than mere wear and tear. Last year, alone, I went through more than a dozen spokes and cracked my frame -- all without even crashing. After rebuilding my back wheel twice, Holland's finally just gave me a new set of Mavic wheels (which have held up nicely, thank you very much).
I have previously written about my bike's mysterious creaking issue -- originally diagnosed as a saddle problem, but, when a new saddle didn't make the creak go away, a hairline fracture in the frame was found right next to the seatpost (and, thanks to Specialized for replacing the frame for free!) Despite all the frustration in diagnosing the creak and waiting for a new frame, I was actually pretty happy that the ordeal led me to the new saddle - a Selle Anatomica X:
These leather saddles are actually made by a San Diego company and are so, so comfortable. I've been riding mine for six months now with ZERO soreness. The large gap in the center creates a nice hammock-like effect that works like magic. Plus, it looks SO cool!
Tension is maintained (preventing sag) by tightening the tension-bolt under the nose of the saddle. Speaking of that bolt, it was the latest subject of amazement for the guys at Holland's, because, simply through road-riding, I managed to crack the steel bracket that surrounds the bolt:
Look at that! You'd think I was Danny Macaskill dropping off the top of my house onto a boulder garden on my road bike, but this is simply what our lovely San Diego roads can do to sheer metal. Brian at Holland's said he's never seen anything like it. The good news was that the housing was replaceable, and Anatomica honored the one year manufacturer's warranty and sent the new part for free (which was easy to install myself).
Waiting for the part gave me and the All-Purpose Do-Anything Urban Assault Bike some quality time together, which is always fun, but it was nice to get back on my road bike again once it arrived and I got the saddle back together again.
Hopefully, this was just a freak occurrence, but I sincerely hope that this bracket makes it longer than six months -- you'll be the first to hear if it doesn't (well, perhaps the first after the folks at Selle Anatomica) --